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More confident Kentavius Street feels 100 percent after offseason surgery

Sep 7, 2020 at 2:18 PM--

There were times when San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Kentavius Street doubted whether or not he would ever return to 100 percent. He suffered an ACL injury shortly before the 49ers made him a fourth-round draft pick in 2018.

Street obviously did not play during his rookie season and continued to recover from the knee injury. He landed on injured reserve in 2019, but finally got an opportunity to step onto the football field late in the season after being designated to return.

The 24-year-old defender has received rave reviews from teammates for his showing in training camp.

"To be brutally honest, I was really starting to doubt myself if I would ever get back to 100 percent," Street told reporters on Monday. "It had been almost two years from the injury. We had the little cleanup procedure right after fall camp last year, and I really thought I was going to be full-go, full-tilt. And then to have that setback again just really plagued my mind with a lot of thoughts and a lot of doubt."

Street revealed that he had another procedure, what he called a "little cleanup surgery" on his patellar tendon, after the Super Bowl in February.

Said Street: "I think having that procedure really just helped me jump over the hurdle, clear everything that's been going on with my knee, and just really be back at 100 percent."

Street appeared in the 49ers' final three games of last season before being shelved for the playoffs. Despite yet another setback, the limited work was invaluable to the defensive lineman. He plans to build on that work.

"I think having those few snaps that I had is really going to help the game slow down," Street explained. "That was one thing that I really noticed going into camp. Last year, during OTAs, things were just flying around, bullets everywhere, and I wasn't really able to focus on my technique. But I think playing that little time against the Seahawks and the Falcons (he also played against the Rams) really helped the game slow down.

"I'm more confident in my technique. I really understand our playbook and my role in the scheme a lot more, so I'm able to play a little bit faster, understand where I need to be, what gap I need to protect, when I can be a little bit looser in my technique and not have to worry about things because other things are covered up because of the blitzes or whatever personnel we're playing in. It's just really helped the game slow down for me."

Street and the 49ers begin their 2020 campaign on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium.

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